Make Herbal Tea: How to Prepare, Brew, and How Long to Steep Chamomile Tea

Updated on July 24, 2013

Fresh-Picked Chamomile

pick chamomile at the peak of bloom by pinching the stem just below the blossom with your index finger and thumbnail
pick chamomile at the peak of bloom by pinching the stem just below the blossom with your index finger and thumbnail

Steeping Instructions for Pre-Bagged or Loose Leaf Chamomile Tea

The blossoms of the Chamomile plant (Latin name: Matricaria recutita) have been used by ancient Egyptians for over 3,000 years for its pleasantly calming, comforting, and anti-imflamatory properties. Chamomile has a sweeter, mild taste with hints of apple and is caffeine-free. With the wide variety of exotic tea blends on supermarket shelves today, let's get back to basics on how to easily prepare a cup of chamomile tea.

What you'll need:

  • kettle (stainless steel or ceramic): what you'll boil your water in
  • teapot or mug with a lid: what you'll steep your tea in, which is not your kettle
  • 1 tsp of dried chamomile flowers (about 1 gram)
  • infusion device (like a tea ball, heat seal tea bag, piece of cheesecloth and string, or steep loose and use a strainer after steeping)
  • 8oz of filtered water and hot water from the tap

Steps for Brewing Chamomile Tea:

  1. Fill the tea pot or mug you'll be steeping in with hot tap water to warm the container.
  2. Fill your infusion device with the chamomile. If steeping without a device (called "loose-leaf"), wait until step 4 to add your chamomile.
  3. Heat 6-8oz of filtered water in your kettle on your stove to first boil (when the water just begins to form small bubbles). Remove from heat.
  4. Empty your tea pot or mug of the tap water and add the chamomile to this container. Pour water from the kettle over the chamomile, and cover. This helps to fully release the oils and matricin from the flower, enhancing the taste and medicinal components of your cup of tea.
  5. Steep (let sit) for about 5 minutes. In the future you can adjust the amount of chamomile you use and steep time to taste, but steeping too long may result in a more bitter flavor.
  6. Uncover and remove your infusion device from your tea pot or mug. If you steeped loose-leaf, pour the steeped tea through a strainer into a 2nd mug.

Your chamomile tea is ready to enjoy. You may add milk, honey, or sweetener to taste though doing so may alter the natural taste and medicinal benefits of your chamomile tea. I prefer this tea with nothing added.

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Questions & Answers


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      • Lee Tea profile image

        Lee Tea 23 months ago from Erie, PA

        Sure, so this is why we're heating to a gentle first boil and not to a hard, rolling third boil. Once you take first boil off the heat it's no longer boiling. Cover instructions appear to be the same.

        Though I want to urge readers not let these technicalities make you nervous - so long as the flowers meet the warm water you'll have a nice tea to drink, and a benchmark for maximizing the properties you prefer for the next steep.

      • profile image

        Debbie 23 months ago

        I was instructed to let the boiling water sit for about 5 minutes BEFORE pouring it over the chamomile leaves for tea and then to quickly put the lid on the tea pot as you want to have the oil from the chamomile not evaporate. If you pour boiling water over chamomile then you are not going to get the properties that help with calmness.

      • Lee Tea profile image

        Lee Tea 4 years ago from Erie, PA

        Youuuuu betcha Teadude! :)

      • profile image

        teadude 4 years ago

        Thank you! Fresh is the best!

      • Lee Tea profile image

        Lee Tea 5 years ago from Erie, PA

        Thanks for hopping our hubs - much appreciated!

      • profile image

        tea kettles 5 years ago

        Thumbs up guys your doing a really good job.